Contact| Forum

Research Outputs

Work Package 12


Research Topic

Developing a conceptual framework for patient safety indicators in primary care

Lead: Ministry of Health of the Government of Catalonia, (GENCAT),

Contact: Eva Frigola

Description of work


Through the collaboration facilitated by the LINNEAUS network we intend to achieve a consensus regarding the operational definition of patient safety indicators in primary care and the characteristics that patient safety indicators in primary care should have. The aspects of primary care relevant to patient safety in this setting will be included. Using the Spanish experience (particularly from the Catalan region) on the implementation of patient safety indicators in primary care, we will identify those areas/aspects for which indicators have not yet been developed. This work package links in with WP 2, WP 3 and WP 4. The other WPs involved are to facilitate contact with experts to develop the Delphi method, the aim of which is to include the overall perception of professionals when deciding to measure and assess patient safety. The work is organised into three actions corresponding to the specific objectives.

Why the research topic is important

The first problem with research on patient safety is the lack of consensus about what constitutes patient safety. In the literature many different definitions are mentioned, and patient safety comprises a broad field in healthcare. By using a systematic methodology we will bring an operational definition of patient safety applicable to the context of the Primary Care in Europe. In addition we will identify those aspects or characteristics relevant to patient safety in European primary care settings, which will bring to European countries a framework for the subsequent development of indicators according to their local circumstances or the possibility to uptake the indicators provided by the group.

What have we done (our approach)

We have identified evidence related to patient safety (definitions for patient safety and primary care, and conceptual models) existing in the international literature. In addition we have used the Spanish experience on implementation of patient safety in primary care (Catalan accreditation model). We have merged those aspects relevant to an European context and made a proposal to send out for consensus.

What is/are the key result(s) and why are the results important?

Key results will be a definition for patient safety and a definition for primary care; a set of characteristics/aspects that PS indicators in primary care should have; and what aspects/areas for which indicators have not yet been develop.

Department de Salut - Generalitat de Catalunya have only recently joined the network so the following outputs are not yet available.

Tools and Guidance notes

Preliminary Taxonomy on medication errors in primary care

  • This is a tool to help define a medication error. We have broadly devised 3 categories of errors: medication errors due to process errors, medication incident types, and the severity

Journal papers


Conference proceedings


LINNEAUS deliverable(s)

Report on the characteristics of a core set of patient safety indicators in primary care.

Other LINNEAUS reports



The Catalan accreditation model for primary care: [Catalan]